I guess when it comes to freedom, based on age and season in life, that word conjures up all kinds of thoughts: it could remind you solely of July 4th: from apple pie, to barbecue, to cookouts, friends, and laying out a large blanket, to watch the fireworks light up the sky within your community. Those childhood memories were awesome.
But with the struggles in life, the word “freedom” could also conjure up thoughts like financial freedom, freedom from stress, freedom from bondage, addiction, freedom from being controlled, freedom from the past, freedom from stereotypes, and the list could go on and on.
Here’s what Paul said about FREEDOM:
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” ~Galatians 5:1~
Jesus set us free from the bondage of sin and slavery so we would stand firm, even fight to remain FREE! Do you work as hard on staying free as you do on other things? Do you work as hard on remaining free as you do keeping up with the Jones’, the newest Apple product, chasing the almighty dollar? Paul says, “Stand firm! Don’t go back to the slavery that Jesus gave His life to free you from!!!!”
So what does this freedom look like?
The best way I know to explain it is by something that happened just recently with Jorja. Jorja knows how I like our house picked up and presentable at all times in case a guest pops in. She came into my bedroom and said, “Hey, Mom, I want to renovate my bedroom. Would you help me?” At this point, I could answer Jorja one of two ways: I could exclaim, “No, I’m not helping you! I am overloaded as it is! If you want to redecorate your room, YOU do it yourself! And you had better clean up behind yourself or I am gonna be ticked!” OR, I could say, “I would love to help you renovate your room! How can I help?”
With the first response I made, Jorja is not free. She is not free to enjoy redecorating her room, but is rather, burdened, pressured, and discouraged. It feels oppressive. That is bondage, not freedom. But the second response is freedom. Jorja is free to enjoy decorating her room with music, dancing, laughter and conversation because I joined her. She didn’t have to do it alone. She was still very aware of what I expected and how displeased I would be if she made and left a mess. It’s the same project. The same task.
So, what’s the difference? How does this relate to our relationship with our Heavenly Father? One is a working alone to try to escape the possible wrath that could accompany, should you do it wrong. The other is allowing the Father to be with you and help you.
True Freedom is when you involve your Father,
and let Him help you in everything you do.
Jesus came to you, to free you. He wants to remain with you so you can remain free. Look what Jesus said about remaining in John 15: “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
You see, Jorja invited me to help her, because Jorja knew that I had within me everything she needed to help her do what she needed to do.
True Freedom understands that God will always give you everything you need to do whatever He requires.
Can I suggest that the key to experiencing joy-filled freedom is to view every task as an opportunity to involve Jesus? You GET to do life with Jesus! And my friend, when you do life with Jesus, you find LIFE abundant!
When you do life with Jesus, you find life abundant!
So here’s how I am challenging myself: with everything I do, I am going to ask Jesus, “Will you help me with this?” Even if I think I can do it myself and not involve Him, He wants to be involved, I need to involve Him so I can remain with Him, and then I will experience joy as we do life together.
I believe if you can change your perspective on this, you can literally change your life. And as a parent, if you respond to your children as the Lord responds to us when we ask Him for help, you will be facilitating a life of freedom for your child.
FREEDOM…..it’s what Jesus died to give us! It’s what He longs to enjoy with you! So include Him. Remain with Him, and experience TRUE FREEDOM!
You are loved.